I am so glad you can be a part of our Hawaiian adventure.
Enjoy! --Kristine

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Strange food in paradise

A slice of Oahu's north shore. 

We decided to start the weekend off with an adventure around the north shore of Oahu. We did not consult a map or any travel guides before our departure. Instead, we packed our bathing suits, headed west on the coastal road and assumed we'd discover the right things at the right times. Oddly enough, I think we did. We could never have predicted what we'd find to eat, that's for sure.

Benjamin was intent on finding a swimming beach, which was a little hard considering we were traversing the famous big wave surfing areas. About an hour and a half into our journey we decided it was time to forage for some food because Alice had woken up from her nap. We'd already been passing a large array of roadside vendors. As connoisseurs and regular patrons of the Chico taco truck scene, Tag and I are fully committed to food vendors operating out of vehicles, tents or any other kind of impermanent structures. The more misspellings in the hand-painted menu, the better.

We pulled over at the next row of tents we passed and went straight for their offerings. Tag picked up an entire Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Pie, despite having no idea what that was. They had him at Pie. I decided we needed some plate lunches from the Pasteles stand. Similarly, I had no idea what pasteles were and what they were plated with. Even after eating one I still had no idea what it was and had to Google it on my iPhone to find out.

Here is what I learned... At the turn of the 20th century there was a collapse in the Puerto Rican sugar cane industry and a subsequent immigaration of Puerto Rican workers to support Hawaii's ramped up production. With this new ethnic group came the arrival of the pastel-- a dough-wrapped, fried meat package that seems to involve some veggies and a generous helping of grease. Hawaiians love it, and now the $6 pasteles plates are served with a side of spanish rice and macaroni salad (would you like a starch with your starch?).

After scoring these delicacies we tried to picnic in the park but got rained on almost as soon as we sat down. Thus, we moved to the back of Missy Kia and the kids loved the ambiance there even more. "We're eating in the trunk!" After our lunch adventure we made our next stop at the Turtle Bay resort area and swam at their sheltered beach for a while. I took a long walk along the shoreline, and met a special sunbather along the way (see photos below). Our trip back to Kailua brought us across Dole's pineapple plantation and on all three big highways (H-1, H-2, and H-3). Interestingly, the remnants of our pie didn't even melt in the warm car. Hmm.

When I opened the plate lunch I told Tag, "I don't know what this greasy turd is made of, but it tastes pretty good." He laughed, and then insisted that I use that as my caption for the photo. 

Why don't more people picnic in their cars? Good old fun!

Okay... here's the pie (yes, it's square). The bottom layer is crust; the middle layer is made with purple sweet potatoes; and the top layer is coconut. This all sounds weird, but we we all loved it. 

Benj catching some air at the beach.
Launching Alice.

Oh, Daddy, we love it when you throw us around.

The scene of my walk (the second time around when I remembered to bring a camera).

A snoozing monk seal sunbathing on the beach. 

The seal looks like a log, but every now and then it would twitch and roll a bit.
Lots and lots of Dole pineapples.

1 comment:

  1. Listening to Hawaiian music and jealously appreciating your adventures. How I wish I could teleport. Ah well, back to grading.